“As industry leaders we have a responsibility to develop the talented managers of tomorrow. Many of us subscribe to the idea that recruiting and retaining talent is a top priority, but in practice we are often not creating the right environments for the talented managers of tomorrow to develop in.
“At Servest Security, we have clearly defined career paths, including apprenticeship programmes, for developing talent as a top priority. This has several benefits for the business. Not only do we retain those talented individuals who are already in the business, but we also see other talented individuals flock to the business.
“If our industry is truly serious about attracting, retaining, and developing the managers of tomorrow we need to get serious about offering clearly defined career paths. People need to have the opportunity to quickly progress through the ranks, just as they can do in other industries. This, in turn, can create a self-reinforcing cycle, as talented individuals create more opportunities for business growth.
“You may be wondering why I am so passionate about the subject. Like many, I fell into the industry as a security officer some 20 years ago. I realised fairly quickly that I was hugely passionate about the industry, and quickly set about harassing my then area manager to allow me to attend every possible training programme. I asked questions at every opportunity.
“Unfortunately my area manager was more focused on delivering his KPI score than helping me develop my career, so as soon as I could I moved on.
“In my new role I was able to work with my new manager to develop a clearly-defined career path. I was promoted and excelled in my role and the rest, as they say, is history. Working my way up through the ranks enabled me to understand every element of our delivery while maintaining an ongoing connection with the lifeblood of our industry: my security officer colleagues.
“In some ways, my path was not unlike Servest’s current apprenticeship programme, which I am a big advocate of. We identify potential talent at a very early stage. These people are usually already excelling in their role, have certain key attributes, are receiving exceptional feedback and are clearly going the extra mile. This provides us with the confidence that our investment in their development will return a top talented individual.
“Many people assume that developing talent is solely about having training programs. While training programs are a good way of helping people develop a specific skill or knowledge set, we recognise the industry is constantly evolving and can become increasingly difficult to predict what skills our managers of tomorrow will need. So it’s also about finding ways to help people learn fast in their everyday work environments. In this way, they can learn from each key stakeholder within the business operation.
“Servest allows our apprentices to work on projects that stretch their abilities. The potential risk of this is tempered by assigning them a mentor who ensures that they are doing the job well and are on track. By providing the relevant infrastructure/career path with ample room for experimentation and growth, Servest not only successfully develops our talent but we have seen significant progress in engagement, innovation, and customer satisfaction.
As an industry we have exceptional young talent out there. But we need to be as serious about nurturing that talent as we are about protecting our customers.”
Opinions expressed by contributors and commentators do not necessarily reflect the views of Infologue.com or Interconnective Limited.